A friend of mine, Scott Rodgers, came up with the phrase above while watching Mississippi sports when we were growing up. The CSI phrase can describe a game, a season, or a player. It means that a team cannot stand to win, end a losing streak, or prosperity.
Can’t Stand It moments happen in all sports, but we mainly used it in football. There are teams that always seem to never live up to the hype, and they live in the CSI zone.
South Florida’s mid-season collapses lately has made them a frequent visitor to the CSI zone. Another example would be Oregon State last season.
The Beavers only needed to beat their Pac-10 rivals Oregon to win the conference and play in a BCS game. Instead, Oregon State was pounded 65-38 at home by the Ducks. USC was able to tie for the conference title and play in the BCS game.
Staying in the realm of college football, here are our CSI nominees for 2009:
Nominees for preseason CSI team
Teams thought highly of before the start of the season, but proved that they Can Stand It: the rankings and the hype that comes with big early season wins.
Mississippi (Ole Miss) Rebels
The Rebels started the season ranked inside the Top Ten, this season ranked eighth in the AP Top 25 poll, and No. 10 in the USA Today poll. Mississippi was favored to be a major player not only in the SEC, but the West division as well.
Ole Miss found their first CSI moment in the third game of the year against South Carolina. The highly praised Rebels offense could not get on track against the Gamecocks defense.
Mississippi continued its CSI season against Alabama two weeks later. The Rebels worked their way back into the Top 25, only to pull another CSI moment against an Auburn team that was on a three game losing streak.
Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illini did not start the preseason in the Top 25. but did receive votes in both polls. Illinois was thought to contend for the Big Ten title.
The preseason hype led to the Illini’s CSI season. Until beating Michigan last week, Illinois had not beaten an FBS team all season long.
The biggest CSI moment of the year came in the first game of the year when a rebuilding Missouri team took them to the wood shed. One could also argue that a three week stretch of losses against Michigan State, Purdue, and Indiana was a big CSI moment.
The Cornhuskers started the season out at No. 24 in the AP Top 25, and No. 22 in the USA Today poll. Nebraska wanted to spend this season showing they are back as a national power.
Instead the Cornhuskers have fallen out of the Top 25, and have several questionable losses. The biggest CSI moment for Nebraska was a loss to Iowa State.
This is the first time the Cornhuskers have lost to the Cyclones in since 1977. Iowa State was also without their starting quarterback, and running back. That Top 25 ranking now looks so far in the past for this once proud program.
California Golden Bears
The Bears started this season as one of the favorites in the Pac-10. Many believed Cal could challenge USC for the conference title. The thought was backed up with a 12th raking in both polls to start the season.
Two straight weeks showed the Bears are a perfect CSI team. California was outscored by Oregon and USC by a combined 72-6.
For all the preseason hype, the Golden Bears just can’t stand it when it comes to being a top team in conference. Those two games were the biggest on Cal’s schedule this season.
Even with all the talent lost from last year’s team, the Bulldogs were ranked 13th ranking in both polls. Georgia started out the season with a big game against a Top-10, at the time, Oklahoma State team and played well.
From that point the wheels have come off this team with three other losses this season. The biggest CSI moment for Georgia was a beat down by a Tennessee team that looked horrible on offense, until they meet the Bulldogs defense.
The Bulldogs have had another CSI moment that will be discussed later. Georgia continued their decade-long CSI mentality against the Florida Gators already this season.
North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels started out the season ranked 21st in the AP Top 25 poll, and 20th in the USA Today poll. North Carolina looked to build upon last season’s success.
The Heels have shown they are a CSI team a couple of times this season. Still their first trip into the CSI zone has to be their biggest.
This is a Tar Heels team that gave a 0-3 Virginia team their first win of the season. A Cavaliers team that lost to FCS team William and Mary. The other North Carolina CSI moment will be discussed later.
The Big-12 North looked like it could be a two horse race this season with Nebraska the other. The Jayhawks looked to be in very good position with Todd Reesing and Dezmon Briscoe returning this season.
Kansas started the season ranked 25th in the AP Top 25 poll, and the first vote getter outside the USA Today poll, or 26th unofficially. Things started out well for the Jayhawks as they started out the season 5-0.
Then Kansas hit its first CSI moment of the season against Colorado. The Jayhawks were undefeated and starting to get pub when they were drilled by the 1-4 Buffaloes 34-30.
The Jayhawks would stay in the CSI zone dropping a game to an injury plagued Oklahoma team. Then there was the Texas Tech beat down in a 42-21 loss. This is the same Red Raiders team that lost the following week to Texas A&M 52-30 the week before.
Virginia Tech Hokies
The Hokies are a team that lives in the CSI zone. While nearly always beating the teams they should. They do not seem to be able to beat the teams with a lot of college football tradition.
Virginia Tech started the season ranked seventh in both polls. The Hokies opened the season with a CSI game against Alabama to start the season. This was against Alabama team replacing starters all over the field.
Still, after the loss to the Tide, the Hokies had a chance to win the ACC after beating Miami. Next came Virginia Tech’s second CSI moment as their vaunted defense was shredded by the Georgia Tech running game.
The Hokies decided to stay in the CSI zone by losing to a North Carolina team in a battle of CSI teams. The loss effectively ended Virginia Tech’s hope of an ACC Coastal title.
The Cougars could have been the best team from a non-BCS conference to make a case for the national title game with an undefeated season. The BYU schedule featured several highly profiled teams.
Brigham Young started the season ranked 20th in the AP Top 25 poll and 25th in the USA Today poll. The Cougars started out backing up those rankings with a win over third ranked Oklahoma to start the season.
As the expectations rose with the win over the Sooners, so did the ranking. Then BYU came to the CSI zone and proved they could not stand the hype.
The Cougars made their first trip of the season to the CSI zone at home against Florida State. BYU was taken behind the woodshed by the Seminoles with a 54-28 loss. Before the loss, Brigham Young was thought to be a national title contender.
BYU made a second trip CSI appearance against fellow Mountain West member TCU. The Cougars had a chance at home to impress the nation once more and this time college game day was there.
All Brigham Young managed to do was lose to the Horned Frogs by a 38-7 score. The loss was one point worse than the previous year’s loss.
Florida State Seminoles
The Seminoles were thought to be back as a national power after a big bowl win over Wisconsin to end the 2008-09 season. Florida State started out this season ranked 18th in the AP Top 25, and 19th in the USA Today poll.
Florida State started out the season losing to Miami on the final play of the game. The Hurricanes have shown they are better than most thought to begin the season.
The Seminoles got a big win over a BYU team that beat Oklahoma to start the season. The questions around this team were confirmed after beating the Cougars.
Florida State followed up the BYU win by going CSI against a South Florida. A Bulls team that was without the services of quarterback Matt Grothe, who was lost for the season with an injury.
This team kept in the CSI zone losing to a Boston College and Georgia Tech. The Seminoles would later right the ship against CSI teams North Carolina and North Carolina State.
The preceding teams are the nominees for the biggest Can’t Stand It teams in college football. You can use the comment section below this article to vote for the team you think could not stand the early ranking in college football.
You can also use the comment section to add your own team to this list. One quick note, teams with major injuries cannot be considered for the preseason CSI award.
That is why Oklahoma and South Florida are not on the list. Coming up will be the nominations for teams that jumped in to the rankings, but could not stand it there.